Inktober and two new purchases pushed me even further into playing with just inks, or mostly inks, instead of watercolor. Today I write about my first month of using inks in a painterly way… and that means I am moving away, for now, from waterproof inks. I have my favorites and am happy with them, and really, in black you’d not get me to budge from De Atramentis Document Black ink. If it came in cartridges I’d not reach for my Platinum Carbon Pen and ink — but that is my second favorite. It would be first but for the way it photographs — shiny carbon reflections. Favorite waterproof colored inks are here.
Before I go too much further, other than sketchbooks, I am concerned about
the light-fast properties of inks. I am in the middle of my own tests, and so far have nothing to report. Goulet had Jamie Grossman test his Noodler’s line,
and the news is good for many colors IF you are a Noodler’s fan.
I now use under-painting with waterproof inks regularly to influence watercolors
or non-waterproof inks placed on top: grisaille (grey, and mine is Noodler’s Lexington Grey), brunaille (mine is usually De Atramentis Document Brown ink) and
verdaille (usually De Atramentis Document Green ink or
Super5 Dublin (Amazon when they have it or buy from Europe).
But my real love is learning to paint with runny inks!
I’ve tried it two ways: Painting straight out of the bottle or straight out of a diluted bottle, which is good for precise and controlled color — above two pieces using pen and brush with Super5 Australia (Amazon when they have it or buy from Europe),
which happens to be waterproof.
OR, sketching then using a waterbrush or wet brush to move the inks (above).
I have to be very fast, because there is little room to move them again after they dry,
so the zen experience of watercolor is even more pronounced with this method.
When it is good, the results are lovely!
A few favorites, and a dog….
My newest favorite is KWZ Ink’s Foggy Green. Above it is mixed with Lexington Grey in brushwork over lines drawn with a Pilot Metropolitan, but below that is pure Foggy Green, even in the areas where it separates into blues and pinks — almost the pink color of Super5 Australia. The ink causes NO problems in my Metropolitan. Lovely lovely lovely!
De Atramentis Tobacco ink (scented) is a lovely earthy dark brown with charcoal overtones at its deepest (the inside of the pot) moving to a reddish brown when diluted. The smell of it takes me back to Pa’s pipe and Christmas at the ranch.
I’ve not had any problem with it in either the Pilot Desk Fountain Pen – DPN-70 – Red – Extra Fine Nib (their version of a Platinum Carbon pen nor my new Lamy LX pen.
And now, a dog. Daniel Smith Walnut ink just doesn’t measure up,
so perhaps they need to stick to the watercolor business.
One huge problem I have is the container. This is ink meant for a dip pen but I
guarantee you will tip it quickly unless you decant it in another jar (a hassle) or set it permanently in a small glass shooter (empty tequila first.) I’ve only had plastic containers when trying samples — which is understand able — but that alone would make me stay away. Plus the color is no big deal. I’ve heard it is light-fast, so that is a plus —
but then so are many of the brown in Noodler’s line.
Pentalic Aqua Journal or Moleskin A4 Watercolor Journal,
Pilot Desk Fountain Pen – DPN-70 or Lamy LX pen with De Atramentis Tobacco ink,
Pilot Preppy pen with Noodler’s Lexington Grey Ink,
Lamy Al-Star with Diamine Ancient Copper ink,
Pilot Metropolitan with KWZ Ink’s Foggy Green,
Platinum Carbon pen in medium and fine with De Atramentis Document Brown ink,
Pilot Metropolitan with Super5 Australia (Amazon when they have it or buy from Europe),
dip pen with Daniel Smith Walnut ink,
Sennelier and Daniel Smith Watercolors.
©D. Katie Powell.
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